From Diagnosis to Dreams: The Power of High Expectations and Inclusion

Victoria Hansen holding her graduation diploma

By: Dianna Hansen, Central Oregon Disability Support Network Director

Growing up in a remote part of Oregon, my high school had small graduating classes, averaging about 20 students, with no special provisions or rooms for students with unique challenges. We were like a closely-knit family, with many of my classmates being with me throughout my K-12 journey. We all meshed effortlessly, our individual differences and abilities blending seamlessly. Post-high school, I moved to a more urban Oregon setting, attended college, and started working. Over time, I gravitated towards a location reminiscent of my roots, which was more rural.

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Confronting Negative Stereotypes About Dyslexia/ADHD and Not Settling for Low Expectations 

Note: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month. 

Lucia

By Lucia, Colorado Youth Advisory Community Member 

I am a 17-year-old senior in high school, and I have dyslexia and ADHD.  

I received my diagnosis at the age of nine. I cannot recall the details of that day, except that I was ecstatic to be missing school, to be free of the seclusion and loneliness.  

The diagnosis solved nothing; it just created a thousand more questions. Every day, I confronted many assumptions about my failure to meet educational standards in reading and writing. Every day, I struggled to comprehend and focus in school. With all my heart, I desired to be “normal.” Yet daily, I encountered the reality I was not. 

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